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What is human life worth?

In the Pre-Trump era, I often thought, "Why does the U.S.A. have to play "police" for the world?" From a fiscal conservative view, I think it is logical that we should get paid for this work or stop doing it. God knows, we have our own American issues to fix. There is little doubt these international endeavors have increased our national spending and deficit.

Furthermore, it seems many of the people we are trying to help ultimately resent us. In the past, we have paid in American lives to fight for these issues, but it is challenging to see how the social and political issues of "Timbuktu" affect me.

There have been concerning developments with how our new administration and Russia have handled the Syrian conflict, and as a physician who has solemnly swore to "First do no harm," I feel obligated to comment on the systematic Syrian government-sanctioned atrocities that have been carried out on their own citizens. It is well documented the Syrian government has been operating death-camps throughout their country. They have kept the prisoners in dismal conditions for holding and have hanged more than 12,000 people without any substantive trial, some for mere political association with the rebel cause. You can learn more about these findings if you read Amnesty International and Democracy Now's coverage of these stories, which are buried behind the latest "trumped-up" headline. (March 4)

I sincerely feel shame for my ignorance; I do not propose answers for what responsibility the U.S. should have regarding protecting human rights worldwide, but I urge you all to reflect upon our role as a society and your role as an individual.

With a Christian belief system or otherwise, what is human life really worth to you if it does not affect your country, family or self?

Zachary J. Baeseman, MD, Waupaca, Wis.

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